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Gideon Mantell (1790-1852) was a respected surgeon and a pioneering geologist and palaeontologist. Using his skill in comparative anatomy, he pieced together unidentified bone fragments found in chalk quarries to evaluate the modes of life of early dinosaurs, including the Iguanodon, his most famous discovery.
From the flora and fauna of the rock strata he established the Age of Reptiles, and he revealed how the soft bodies of animalcules formed the chalk. Most of his findings came from the Weald in south east England, where he made an extensive study of the geology and he is most associated with Lewesin Sussex where he lived for most of his life.